I am grateful! I had another birthday this month. I am very glad to have…
I just put Caleb on a plane to go back to college in the Midwest. He was out visiting for two weeks and it was one of his priorities to spend at least one day at the beach. It was overcast most of the time he was here so when the sun came out on Wednesday, he headed west. He played Frisbee, swam in the surf, and fell asleep in the sun! Living in the Midwest did nothing to get his skin in shape for the UV rays of the San Diego beach. He came home with a prominent sunburn and verbally lamented the results of his fun in the sun. It was painfully uncomfortable and personally disruptive.
As I read John 8 this morning, I realized that truth has the same effect on people. “Jesus spoke again to the people, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.’” (v. 12) For people who are used to the truth and have their lives conditioned to live it out, it is a welcome sight. For others who have been avoiding the truth or trying to explain it away, the light of truth is uncomfortable as it exposes us and our self-centered motives.
The truth today (Memorial Day) is that it has taken the sacrifice of many people to give us the life we enjoy. Jesus died to secure eternal salvation for us by paying the price we owed for our sin. Soldiers throughout our history have died to secure the freedoms we depend upon and yet take for granted.
I decided today that I want to recommit myself to the truths of life:
• We have all been created in the image of God and, therefore, have great value.
• We are all imperfect and have missed the mark in life. As a result, we all need a savior.
• Jesus is “the way, the truth and the life. No one gets to the Father except through him.”
• Salvation is a free gift that is given to all who trust in the death of Christ to pay the penalty for their shortcomings.
• On our own, we will never fully understand life. We need God’s revelation to know what is true.
• The Bible is the inspired (God-breathed) word of God. It is the truth God delivered to us to help us make sense of everything else we discover.
• Greatness comes from serving others.
• Jesus always speaks the truth so whatever He says can be counted on. In contrast, men are always trying to redefine life to suit their desires.
• My family is the most important investment in my life. My marriage projects what I believe about the relationship between Jesus and the Church. My kids and grandkids are the best evaluators of what I say I believe.
• God has a purpose for my life and is willing to share it with me as I keep my heart soft.
• Everyone needs to know how to forgive.
• God’s word and people will last forever and are worth spending time with.
I could go on. The point is that I want to embrace truth whether it is comfortable or not. I want to condition my life so that when the light of truth shines on my life, it does not burn. What uncomfortable truth would be useful for you this week?
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Bill, I, too, an recommitting myself to Gid’s Truth. Sublime, illuminating, precious.
My “uncomfortable truth” this week is that others may not understand the level of holiness that God is requiring of me, but that does not excuse me from obedience. I need to fear God rather than men.
This reminds me how important it is to “test yourself”. I mean by that that everyone should be able to articulate their world view (a collection of biblically principled life truths by which we choose to guide ourselves) and testimony (your salvation story) with grace and confidence (and it should be with some ease as well I’d like to add).
We have the best chance at pursuading others toward Christ when what they hear and see in us is aligned with the Word and with right behavior. It’s worth pointing out that we “pursuade” whether we like it or not; whether we think we are pursuading or not; and either toward or away from Christ.
This is why we embrace 1Pe 3:15: but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence;
Most times we may get one shot at someone to demonstrate Christ and that one shot has eternal consequences. This is why we must be prepared and on an ethically firm foundation so as not to be discredited.
This is a vital exercise that everyone should perform regularly; a deep commitment to understanding and living out a sound world view and having a personal manifesto rooted in ethics that you can easily articulate.
In this way we: Mat 5:16 “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.
In Jesus’ name.